A New Mood, A Magic Flute, and a Giving Season

Crescendo: New Mood Rising, November 6, 2015 7:00 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Fall is always a busy time at the UMKC Conservatory, filled with performances, recitals, opera, and more.  Our annual “Crescendo” concert and scholarship fundraiser is a much-anticipated event during which our stellar students and faculty mine the rich vein of Conservatory talent.

The dynamic, uninterrupted 60-minute performance spotlights the Conservatory students and faculty as they perform throughout Helzberg Hall. The concert features dance, jazz, opera, voice, orchestra, and more.

Proceeds from Crescendo benefit Conservatory students, ensuring that the Conservatory can continue to attract and retain the artists, educators and leaders who make the Conservatory “One of the country’s liveliest academies,” in the words of The New York Times.

Tickets to the concert, which begins at 7:00 p.m., cost $30 general public, or $15 for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with UMKC or student ID.

For the second year, we’ve added a concert and dinner package at Lidia’s!

Enjoy the performance and a three-course prix fixe dinner at award-winning Lidia’s restaurant for only $80 per person for the package. There are two dinner seatings from which to choose: 5:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. Lidia’s is located at 101 West 22nd St., Kansas City Mo, just minutes away from the Kauffman Center.  To make your reservation, go to www.umkcalumni.com/lidiaspkg or call 816-235-1590 by Friday, Oct. 30, 2015.

Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | November 17–20, 2015, UMKC’s White Recital Hall | Director, Fenlon Lamb | Guest conductor, Andy Anderson

The Conservatory’s new Director of Opera, Fenlon Lamb has developed an exciting interpretation of this classic opera.  She writes, “Magic Flute set in an asylum? Sounds crazy!? Pun intended. Sometimes the symbols and imagery in an opera are so iconic that it feels like an overwhelming task to find something new and interesting to explore. There I was dreading the daunting scope and complexities of Die Zauberflöte when a colleague of mine said ‘WHAT IF’ you set it in an insane asylum…Isis and Osiris are some really good drugs they administer to keep the patients calm.’

The game of ‘WHAT IF’ turned into an intriguing examination of the archetypes and imagery present in Masonic thought but with a whimsical shift in time and place. The options for strong character development both physically and emotionally appealed to me in terms of what they offered for students and audience alike. Somehow jumping down the rabbit hole became the sane choice in creating a clear vision of this often-performed opera. Our hero’s quest for love, light, reason and wisdom play out within the dark recesses of the human mind and amidst the many aspects of the human spirit.”

The orchestra is conducted by alumnus Andy Anderson (MM, orchestra conducting, 1999) who has established himself as a conductor with “no shortage of talent on display” (Kansas City Star).

Conservatory Choirs:  A Season for Giving
Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. | Visitation Catholic Church, 5141 Main, KCMO

For the past 12 years, the Conservatory Choirs, directed by Robert Bode and Charles Robinson, have presented a choir concert benefiting the Harvesters Community Food Network. The early December concert is free, but the choirs gladly accept non-perishable food items and monetary contributions to Harvesters.

Dr. Charles Robinson notes, “On the wall of my office is a quote by poet James Russell Lowell (1819–1891) that was shared with me by a student many years ago: ‘All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.’ The spirit of this statement is what drives our work in this Season for Giving concert, that each of us can do something good by using gifts given to us.”

This concert is a beautiful way to enjoy vocal performances and to contemplate how we can be of service to a greater good and a broader community.  By donating money and/or non-perishable food to Harvesters, attendees not only support people in need, but also support the Conservatory’s wish to be of service and value to our community.

Tickets: Central Ticket Office, 816-235-6222.  conservatory.umkc.edu

Dana Self

Dana Self is an arts writer who was a contemporary art curator for more than 13 years at museums in Kansas, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Missouri, including Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. She has organized roughly 100 exhibitions of emerging and midcareer artists. She is also marketing director for UMKC Conservatory.

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